Oxford Dictionary Definition of terrorism in English:
The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims:the fight against terrorism; international terrorism
Under Bill C-24, the ironically titled Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act a Canadian may lose their citizenship in any number of ways. I say Canadian because once you are a citizen that is what you are – Canadian. You are not a Grade B Canadian or a sub-Canadian…you are simply Canadian.
According to the Canadian Bar Association the act effectively creates four levels of Canadian citizenship out of the previous one:
a) Canadian born who do not have another nationality. These “true” citizens would be most secure in their status. There is no mechanism proposed for revoking their citizenship, even if they commit the most egregious crimes against Canada or its people.
b) Naturalized citizens without another nationality. These would be the equivalent of all naturalized citizens under the current legislation. The only way they could risk losing their citizenship is if it was originally obtained by misrepresentation.
c) Canadian born citizens with another nationality. Apart from misrepresentation (that would rarely apply to this group), the full range of revocation provisions would apply, including those that might be proposed in the future.
d) Naturalized citizens with another nationality. These truly “third class” citizens would face the full range of retrospective revocation provisions being proposed, including those that might be proposed in the future.
There are so many problems with the “Ship Unwanted People To Other Countries Bill” err Bill C-24 one can barely cover them all in a simple blog post.
Terrorism is a highly subjective and politicized term. By definition it includes unlawful protest against a government. In Canada it is unlawful to wear a mask at a protest. If a naturalized citizen is convicted of this offence can they be branded a terrorist and shipped “back where they came from”?
Canadians have stood against the death penalty for a long time. If we strip a Canadian citizen of citizenship for an offence that is punishable by death in their home country we are effectively sentencing them to death – contravening Canadian law.
Bill C-24 is wrong. It weakens citizenship by creating multiple classes. Once a person becomes a Canadian we have a legal system that can manage their criminal behaviour. We have a prison system that exists for rehabilitation and punishment. We should not be shipping Canadians to other countries so that they can deal with our problems. We should not be stripping Canadians of citizenship so that we can then send our garbage overseas.
The act does not protect Canadians or make us safer. It is opportunistic and politically driven. It is driven by fear and divisive.
We are better than this.